Traditional and transgressive, the work of the Catalan female duo has been a major statement in European production. Helena Ros and Marta Torrell are the two artists who often treat oral tradition, taking it to the aesthetic possibilities of contemporary music. The premise seems familiar, replicated here and there, with greater or lesser mastery, but in Tarta Relena there is a profound interest in the act of exploring the unknown and the timeless. A search that does not resort to formulas or aesthetic trends, but to go deeper, layer by layer, to the centre of the earth. Ora Pro Nubis was the record that immaculatied this old new world, projecting them to a more global audience. With it came countless live performances, including appearances at festivals such as Mutek, Eurosonic and Primavera Sound, to name but a few.
Tarta Relena’s Mediterranean cartography is made of a constant and careful sound ethnography in which effects pedals, synthesizers and DAWs confer a latent and punctual sonic spectrum. Space and silence are key elements to this magic; it is from them that the polyphony of voices is intensified, sometimes suspended and fierce, sometimes more primal and wild. They evoke the essence of Bjork’s Medulla and seem to share the innovation of the Ukrainian DakhaBrakha. In fact, the angle of expressiveness surprises by its consistency. Even when electronics lurk, this does not break down the fragility or overshadow the strength from which everything is born. A balance that reveals itself as the matrix in the way they elevate this music simultaneously sacred and urban to the level of an authentic experience.
Already this year Pack Pro Nubis appeared, a double album that gathers some of their previous recordings and to which a handful of remixes are added (opening up other dimensions and revelations). Besides, the opportunity to see them here is a compliment to irreverence and an invitation to an indescribable ritual. NA